How to Choose Aquarium Plants for Beginners

Aquarium Plants for Beginners

The aquarium is a passion for many people. But that does not just mean collecting spectacular fish, but also providing them with a balanced living environment, and aquarium plants play an essential role in any artificial aquatic ecosystem.

In an aquarium, plants can have many roles, not just beautifying the decor. It mainly contributes to the oxygenation of water and maintains an adequate pH.

Aquatic plants limit the growth of algae because they consume the nutrients they need to grow. Some species of fish use aquatic plants in mating, while other species, shyer, prefer to have where to hide.

Plants reduce the stress they are subject to captive fish, and some fish consume them as part of their diet. So it’s easy to understand how important plants are in an aquarium.

choose the right species, you have to keep in mind many criteria, and listening to or reading more opinions about the best aquarium plants can only be helpful.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing an Aquarium Plant

Experienced aquariumists know where aquarium plants can be found at good prices and can help with many practical tips. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing which plants to decorate your aquarium.

Plant type

Before buying any plant, check if it is indeed an aquatic species. If you are shopping only based on pictures or descriptions of private sellers, you may be making costly mistakes.

Growth rate

Plants of different species have different growth rates. At first, when you’re just organizing your aquarium, you’ll probably want a fast-growing plant to get the beautiful aquarium look short.

However, fast-growing plants need rigorous maintenance, because they need to be grown before they grow excessively. That’s why most aquarium owners opt for slowly growing plants, replacing them with the first ones. It’s easier to keep a tidy look of the aquarium.

Plant size

At maturity, plants have different sizes. When choosing plant species that you think fit your aquarium and when deciding where to place each one, you have to make sure they have enough light and are visible in the decor.

Typically, higher plants are placed behind, and the smallest ones in front. Then some species do not grow well if they are placed in the shade of high plants.

In principle, the tall plants are positioned behind them, forming the background of the aquarium and giving the feeling of natural habitat.

Muscle develops on the bottom of the aquarium and its height does not exceed 1cm. The medium height plants actually provide the habitat of the fish, and they are planted in the foreground.

Water temperature

plants, like fish, need a certain water temperature to develop well. If tropical fish live in your aquarium and so the water is warm enough, cold water-loving plants will not feel at ease and will not grow to their full potential.

In the same way, a plant that naturally grows in hot climates will not grow well if your aquarium has water at room temperature.

Water Salinity

You definitely know that there are freshwater fish and saltwater fish. Just as freshwater fish die in salt water, and saltwater fish die if they are put in fresh water, and plants just do the same thing.

So it’s important to know the plants you plan to put in the aquarium and their preferences regarding the physicochemical conditions in which they can live and grow.


There are various types of aquarium substrates. If you plan your aquarium to contain natural plants, the best types of substrates are sand and gravel, as they provide plants with a suitable substrate to anchor their roots.


And aquatic plants need light to carry out the photosynthesis process. In any aquarium, light must be as natural as natural light. Light with a color temperature of 5000 to 6800 Kelvin is ideal. Check this Aquarium Light on Amazon.

The brightness of the light source is also important. Depending on the intensity of the shine, there are very bright light sources (minimum 1500 lumens), glowing (1000-1500 lumens), medium (500-1000 lumens) and low shine (less than 500 lumens).

In addition, you should also keep in mind that plants that are shaded by higher plants will not receive the same amount of light as the other, higher ones.


The main source of organic matter needed to grow plants is represented by fish residue. Sometimes, however, it may happen that the number of fish is too small to support abundant aquatic vegetation, and in this case, it is necessary to add additional nutrients in the aquarium.

If you want to avoid having to add monthly special aquarium fertilizers(Link to Amazon), you must maintain a balance between the fish population and the number and size of the plants.

Carbon dioxide

Generally, aquariums are low in carbon dioxide, but it is absolutely necessary to carry out the photosynthesis process and therefore the good development of any plant.

If you choose to place carbon dioxide-loving plants in the aquarium, you will probably need to install a filter that will enrich the water with this gas so your plants can survive.

All you have to do once you have this information about the main criteria that you need to consider before deciding what plants you need is to find out where aquarium plants are at a good price for other passionate people.

Always online stores are a good option, offering first of all more advantageous prices than specialized physical stores.

Equally worthwhile, if you buy the products from an online store, you are guaranteed to have bought what you wanted and paid for.

Buying aquarium plants from unknown individuals can be a lottery and you can have unpleasant surprises – and no one you can be held accountable for.

Freshwater Aquarium Plants for Beginners

In order to help you, we have prepared a list of aquarium plants that you will surely find interesting and worth checking out, plus inspiration.

Egeria Densa

Egeria Densa(Link to Amazon) is a good example of cheap and good aquarium plants. The species is found in almost all large aquariums. It grows in height to 40-100 cm, and the plant width is 3-5 cm. Loves water at a temperature between 10 and 26 degrees so it can be grown successfully in any aquarium located in the home.

Egeria Densa

The increase is extremely rapid, its requirements being very low. The ideal plant is the natural oxygenation of water and is recommended to all beginners.

Accelerated growth is considered unpleasant by some, but a skilled aquarist can guide the multiplication so that the plant forms a true curtain in the background – a perfect place to hide fish and a beautiful aquarium background.

The plant can be grown on either the substrate or the floating plant, multiplication is easy by cutting a branch and replacing it into the substrate, and the characteristic aspect of the translucent leaves is unique.

Riccia Fluitans

Riccia fluitans is one of the most common answers to the question, “Which are the best aquarium plants?” The plant is a species of absolute muscle that grows up to 1-5 cm high. As the plant develops in length, it tends to float, so you have to keep it immersed by linking the substrate with a fishing line.

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Regular trimming with scissors is another good way to stop the tendency to rise to the surface. The plant is a great lover of carbon dioxide, releasing instead the oxygen that can be seen as small bubbles of gas, caught by the leaf’s extremities. Fish puppies love her and tend to hide between her leaves.

Impressing the aquarium with a more natural look, Riccia fluitans also contributes to the highly efficient oxygenation of water and the reduction of fish stress. It is also appreciated by the more withdrawn fish species, who like to hide.

Pistia Stratiotes

This species was discovered in Africa, on the Nile, near Lake Victoria and is also called popular cabbage or a green leafy salad. It is a tropical plant that loves warmer water, growing well at temperatures between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius. It grows to a height of 1-5 cm, and the leaves have a width that rarely exceeds 10 cm.

Pistia Stratiotes

Growth is fast, with no special requirements for the amount of carbon dioxide or light available. The leaves have a gorgeous appearance, and the plant coexists well with tropical fish, which also love some warmer water.

Given the high rate of growth, it requires careful monitoring and periodic scaling, limiting its expansion into the aquarium, and it can damage other plants loving light, for example.

The plant is a bit pretentious, but some experience is needed to avoid overpopulation of the aquarium with this species.

Vesicularia Ferriei

This species is an example of unpretentious aquarium plants at a good price. The plant is native to Asia. The growth rate is medium and does not require any special conditions, thanks to a medium intensity light and low carbon dioxide. The plant has deciduous fleshy leaves, 1-3 cm in size, with characteristic green and unique teardrop shape.

The maximum visual effect is obtained by cultivating on a stone or branches because this positioning creates depth and contrast.

Considering the fact that it is not pretentious, the plant grows well in almost any environment, requiring periodic trimming to keep its shape and appealing appearance.

Also available to the most inexperienced beginners, this species is an extremely precious decoration item that can be earned with time, labor, and minimal investment.

Vesicularia Dubyana Christmas Moss

This species of aquatic moss originating in Brazil differs from other species related to the characteristic aspect of the branches, which make it resemble a fir tree. It is one of the best aquarium plants because it is easily attached to roots and stones, but has slower growth than other species and is somewhat more demanding.

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Later, it needs trimming to keep its shape attractive. The rhythm of growth depends directly on the amount of light it has at its disposal. The need for carbon dioxide is low so there will be no need to install special filters to make the plant grow well.

The height up to which it grows can exceed 5 centimeters, but the characteristic appearance is kept up to about 3 cm high, after which the leaves become softer and the branches are not so obvious.

a beginner, but also a passionate aquarium, this species of muscle is a good choice, as it is easy to care for and does not require special conditions, being very adaptable.

Moss stone

This species of musk is appreciated by those who own an aquarium, as well as those who have terrariums or an artificial paradise in the garden. The plant is an element of natural decoration according to nano aquariums. It is planted in small numbers, so soon it forms a uniform lawn on the bottom of the aquarium. Leaves remain small, rarely exceeding 5 cm.

The plant is a great lover of light and develops better in an average or strong light aquarium. Higher plants that obscure it may adversely affect their development.

Its need for nutritious resources is small, so rarely it is necessary to add special nutritional supplements to aquariums. Very small fish are successfully hiding between the leaves, which also offer a favorable developmental environment and the beneficial species of snails.

Musk with a special appearance, but with relatively small requirements, this species can effectively contribute to the creation of a natural setting in your aquarium.

Cladophora Aegagrophila

Cladophora is, first of all, a superb exception: it is not a plant, but a cluster of algae. Although all aquarium owners are afraid of algae that, in excess, dirty the aquarium and pollute the water, this species is appreciated due to the spectacular decorative effect. This agglomeration of algae has the appearance of a ball with a diameter of 3 to 10 cm.

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However, it also needs additional care: if in the natural environment the water movement gives it this form, in the aquarium it must turn regularly to keep its appearance.

Depending on your preferences, you can grow it as such, you can split it into several smaller spheres or you can encourage it to attach itself to wood or stone and form a carpet on the bottom of the aquarium.

If you want an element of uniqueness in the decor of your aquarium, Cladophora aegagrophila is a very good choice and quite spectacular.

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. You will find some really useful tips and information on this blog about Freshwater Aquariums.

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